This week I’ve been reading one of BL’s novella series one books, Heart of Winter by Nick Horth. It’s a short story of revenge as a female Corsair captain, Arika Zenthe, seeks to kill her farther by any means (basically anything bloody).
I won’t spoil the story here, but I’d recommend giving it a read yourself. What’s fascinating is that the story delves into the what makes a Black Ark a fearsome Citadel/ fortress sea fleet, what makes it sail and what goes on inside the fortress (just imagine Clar Karond mixed with Hag Graef, and you’ll know what I mean). There’s also more exploration of different societies and races in Ghur, and how the places function in brief but interesting exposition.
But to meat of the meal, this story is a first look at the Scourge, or Scourge Privateers to be exact, and this story has enough lore to make sense of how the Scourge operate in AoS. I’m very pleased to see part of (once Dark Elves faction) the Druchii factions get some spotlight by BL after a three year gap of nothing to go on. Nick Horth has done a splendid job at crafting a creative, fun and new background lore into the Scourge whilst also keeping the established lore of Warhammer Fantasy woven in.
With that said, I’d like to point out a few interesting bits of information I’ve found in the story, although they might be slight spoilers to the novella story (not major ones). So it’s best if you the book first if interested in reading it.
- Reaper Bolt Throwers make a come back and are now cannon in AoS lore! (Whilst they’re not got point values for match play, you can more than justify using one in narrative games for a cut throat Scourge Privateer army).
- The Black Arks are still the same as Warhammer Fantasy lore.
- The Scourge are just on the tip of provoking a war with Sigmar, but still do trading openly and a side of black marketing behind closed doors.
- The Elves originally of the Dark kin are all still called the Druchii, so there are still some traditions of the past carried on into AoS’s timeline.
- The Scourge Privateer are all known to many as the ‘Scourge’.
- [slight Spoiler]: In Druchian, The Dryads are described as being cold blue with dark wood of black, caused by the morbid eternal cold affect of a sacred artefact. So depending on the environment, I guess the Dryads can change based on the season.
- The Wanderes get a bad reputation, and the Dryads would more than gladly slay them for their crimes of the past, for betraying and leaving the forest folk in the Age of Chaos.
Now you may be wondering why I’ve not mentioned much about the books protagonist, Arika. It’s mostly because a lot of her history will spoil the story if I said here. However, as far as a female protagonist goes, she’s on my list as top best Aelven anti hero characters for hero ruthlessness at getting the job done and isn’t too brooding with the right mix of fun and dark.
Would I like to see her in a sequel novella, short story, audio or even a full privateer novel? Yes, I very much want to see her story continued in any form of said above. We’ve already got a lot of Stormcast Eternals, Freeguild, Duardin and Chaos stories, now would be a great time to get some Aelves in BL books. I think Nick Horth’s book has a exceeded more expectations with this book, with the cliffhanger at the end being a very good one, I hope we’ll be able to see more of Arika Zenthe in future fiction.
Well with that, I’m done for today, one book down, there more to go! Next up I’m reading Evan Dicken’s first AoS novella, The Red Hours. So far into chapter one I’m already absorbed into this story, and I can’t wait to see how it progresses!
Until next time!
Thank you for reading this post! If you have any questions, post a comment below and I’ll reply back as soon as I can. Thanks!